Festival Industry Conference Delayed, Returning In 2025

12 January 2024 | 3:28 pm | Christie Eliezer

Organisers are setting up the event to kick it up another level.

Australian Festival Industry Conference founder Carlina Ericson

Australian Festival Industry Conference founder Carlina Ericson (Source: Supplied)

The next Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) will be held in 2025, pressing pause on this year’s event as its Luna Park Sydney home is undergoing major renovations.

“We were prepared to wait until it was available again because it proved to be AFIC’s best venue in the event’s four-year history,” said AFIC founder and event director Carlina Ericson.

AFIC’s first year in 2019 was at the Opal Cove Resort in Coffs Harbour in NSW before moving to SeaWorld on the Gold Coast.

But the move to Sydney last August over two days generated its biggest attendance, at 150+, with a boost in international delegates.

“Feedback from our delegates was that they absolutely loved Luna Park Sydney for a number of reasons,” Ericson explained.

“It was central and accessible for those in Sydney, as well as for those from the rest of NSW and Australia, and especially for those who flew in from abroad.

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“Besides, how could you beat those spectacular water views? Being able to set sail on our harbour cruise and final networking event was the cherry on top.”

During the break, Ericson will be setting up the event to kick it up another level.

She will head to Europe to attend major festivals and meet with international promoters and suppliers about getting involved in AFIC 2025 as keynote speakers, panellists and workshop curators.

“There is so much advancement in festivals and events in the northern hemisphere in terms of technology, security, safety, sustainability and crowd science, among other things,” she said.

“These issues are of paramount importance to those who attend AFIC to learn how to better produce quality events, whether it be in the areas of music, arts and culture, food and drink, ‘intellectual and ideas’ or sports.

“It’s important that AFIC continues to maintain its position as the central meeting place for the festival industry sector and its auxiliary businesses.”

Ericson will also attend Australian events such as Tamworth Country Music Festival, The Gum Ball and Bluesfest to see first-hand the challenges organisers are facing and to speak to their teams, patrons and suppliers about other issues.

TheMusic.com.au’s report on the 2023 edition highlighted NSW Arts Minister John Graham outlining how festivals were a key part in NSW’s post-COVID recovery in becoming experience-driven and fuller details on initiatives for the live sector.

Other issues covered in the report were the challenges of staging events on First Nations land, insurance, sustainability, accessibility, crisis communication, understanding the customer, protecting the brand, site designs, and the basics of crowd management.